In 2008 alone, 304 people died in truck crashes on California roads. While some of these fatalities were due to aggressive driving behaviors, others were due to drowsy driving. If a truck operator gets behind the wheel when feeling tired or fatigued, he needs to realize that he could be putting innocent motorists in danger.
What are the effects of drowsy driving?
Drowsy driving leads to slow reaction times and inattentiveness, causing truck operators to swerve in and out of lanes or veer off the side of the road. Such behavior increases the chance of truck and car crashes in Southern California and throughout the nation.
Because truck drivers travel many hours and miles to transport their goods on time to the selected destinations, there is a real concern for those getting behind the wheel when they are fatigued. If a truck driver is running behind or has a monetary incentive to deliver a product early, it can lead to the truck operator driving too many consecutive hours without taking a break or getting the proper sleep he needs.
Are there penalties for a trucker not following the hours-of-service rules?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules and regulations regarding the hours-of-service that truckers are supposed to adhere to in order to ensure everyone’s safety. However, some truck drivers and trucking companies do not comply with these rules. Truck drivers who violate these rules can be fined up to $2,750 for each offense, and truck companies that do not enforce these rules and allow their truck drivers to violate the hours-of-service can be fined up to $11,000 for each offense.
These rules are in place to protect the public and limit the amount of truck crashes that occur when drivers do not get the necessary sleep for driving large trucks. Injuries from truck accidents can include spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, fracture of the vertebrae, spinal fractures, broken backs, and nerve injuries.
If you have suffered a serious injury due to a negligent truck driver, then you should pursue damages. You may be compensated for medical bills, physical therapy, lost time from work, and more. Contact an experienced Southern California personal injury attorney at the Law Office of John P. Burns today at (877) 320-1338 for a free consultation.